Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stupid, but interesting at least

It's been widely reported that FEMA held a fake news conference last Tuesday about the California wildfires. Since no news reporters were there in time (FEMA only gave them 15 minutes notice), someone thought of the great idea to have FEMA communications staff pose as reporters. The Washington Post heard about it and broke the story- here's a link. If you'd like to watch it, take a look:

There's really not much more to say about this specific incident...on my part. FEMA has been heavily criticized from the media, as well as from other levels of government, including The White House.

What I find interesting is the comparison between what this fake presser was, and other forms of PR.

Couldn't it be argued that this event is very similar to a press release? It was crafted in a positive light of FEMA, it was created by FEMA and it was distributed to news outlets.

FEMA has consistently said that this was an error in judgement and will not happen again.

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that I believe them. However, I can't help but wonder if, in fact, this press conference was strategic as to show how great FEMA was responding to the crisis in California...as compared to...well..Katrina.

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